Auburn police unveil web-based crime map

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The Auburn Police Department unveiled a new tool for residents to keep track of crime in the community Monday. It’s a new online map that pinpoints the location of criminal complaints throughout the Twin Cities.

The crime map, found online at www.raidsonline.com, is a collaboration between the Auburn Police Department and Bair Software, a company that offers security and public safety oriented computer programs, according to a press release Auburn Deputy Chief Jason Moen distributed Monday. The map, which uploads information from police records, shows a place marker at the site of each incident, color coded to show the nature of the crime. The map shows crimes in Lewiston as well as Auburn.

Checking the map, residents can view crimes near their home, school, or work, to “make more informed decisions regarding where they live, shop, play, send their kids to school and other important choices regarding their personal safety,” the press release said.

“Hopefully, it will allow people to see what’s happening,” Moen said by telephone Monday.

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The map allows viewers to select the types of crimes they wish to see, and also offers a crime-density function, displaying bands of color like a topographic map to show the neighborhoods with the most crime. On Monday, the map showed crime hot spots from Kennedy Park to Howard Street and College and Sabattus streets to the north in Lewiston, noted by bands of yellow, orange and red, and another, colored green, from Court and Turner streets stretching northward to Chestnut Street in Auburn.

The crime map also allows people to send tips to the police directly, by simply clicking a crime place marker and filling out a brief survey, which even allows people to submit photographs.

The crime map is the Auburn department’s newest foray into web-based, interactive social media. They already have a Facebook page, www.facebook.com/auburnpd, which will soon also link directly to the new crime map.

With nearly everyone using the Internet, Moen expects a growing number of people to make use of the department’s high-tech tools, including the crime map. “The more they use it, the more accustomed they’ll become,” Moen said. “As with any new technology, it’s just a matter of getting ahead of it” and using it to the advantage of the police, and the community, he said.

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